Else Alfelt

Else Alfelt (16 September 1910 – 9 August 1974) was a Danish artist who specialized in abstract paintings. She was one of two female members of the CoBrA movement. She was married to Carl-Henning Pedersen, another prominent CoBrA member.

Else Alfelt
Photo of Else Alfelt.gif
Born(1910-09-19)19 September 1910
Copenhagen, Denmark
Died9 August 1974(1974-08-09) (aged 63)
Copenhagen, Denmark
Known forPainting
MovementCoBrA (avant-garde movement)
Spouse(s)Carl-Henning Pedersen
'Carl Henning Pedersen og Else Alfelts Museum' outside the Danish town of Herning.

Early life and educationEdit

Alfelt was born in Copenhagen to the parents Carl Valdemar Ahlefeldt (1882–1954) and Edith Alexandra Regine Julie Thomsen (1893–1938). She began to paint in an early age and remained self-taught as an artist.


Ahlefeldt submitted her work to the annual Autumn Salon of Danish artists (Kunstnernes Efterårsudstilling) from 1929, but her work was not accepted until 1936, when she exhibited two naturalistic portraits. Soon after this, Alfelt's painting style shifted to a completely abstract idiom of meditative and colorful prismatic compositions.

Alfelt was involved with the major avant-garde art movements in Denmark from the 1930s through the 1950s. She took part in Linien (The Line, 1934-1939), the artists' collective and art journal that was the first conduit of French Surrealism to Denmark. Under the German occupation of Denmark during World War Two, Alfelt was an integral component of Helhesten (The Hell-Horse, 1941-1944), the artists' group and art journal co-founded by Asger Jorn as a harbinger of experimental art and implicit cultural-political resistance. She was also an important member of CoBrA (1948-1951) after the war.

Alfelt's work explored motifs such as spirals, mountains, and spheres, which she linked to expressions of "inner space". Alfelt was directly inspired by nature, specifically mountains, which she sought out on her many travels, such as her trip to Lapland 1945 and Japan in 1967.[1] In addition to paintings she also produced several mosaics.

She was awarded the Tagea Brandt Rejselegat in 1961.


'Carl Henning Pedersen og Else Alfelts Museum' outside Herning. Else Alfelts Vej in the Ørestad district of Copenhagen is named after her.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Else Alfelt". Den Store Danske (in Danish). Gyldendal. Retrieved 8 March 2015.

External linksEdit